Moscow wants to liberate Transnistria from . . . itself?

John Fetterman

There is a new blog post entitled, “Progressive Democrats in Pennsylvania, if they actually exist, should support Malcolm Kenyatta for U.S. Senator.”

Julia Terruso and Jonathan Tamari, “5 takeaways from Thursday’s Pennsylvania Democratic Senate debate,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 22, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pa-democratic-senate-debate-fetterman-lamb-kenyatta-20220421.html-2


Cathedral of the Holy Trinity

My first instinct was to file this under Ukraine as proof that Vladimir Putin’s imperial designs extend far beyond that country, but it appears the dispute over a Jerusalem church variously named the Church of St. Alexander Nevsky or the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity considerably predates the invasion and, while it’s all very weird—as in, I’m not sure the lawyers are ever really going to sort this one out—it’s just possible Russia has a point here: Binyamin Netanyahu had agreed to return the church but the decision was overturned by an Israeli court.[1]

Michael Gryboski, “Putin demands Israel give Russia control of historic Jerusalem church,” Christian Post, April 21, 2022, https://www.christianpost.com/news/putin-demands-israel-give-russia-control-of-jerusalem-church.html


Ukraine

If anyone really believed that Vladimir Putin would settle for the Donbas,[2] it seems Russia now wants all of southern Ukraine in order to reach Transnistria, a breakaway region of Moldava that Moscow already controls but where Moscow nonetheless alleges that repression of Russian-speakers is occurring. And yes, you’ve heard this one before: It’s the same excuse Putin used to invade Ukraine.[3] It is evident that there is absolutely no requirement that Putin’s excuses make any fucking sense whatsoever.

Moldova last hit my radar as a possible target for Putin’s imperial ambition early in March.[4]

David E. Sanger, Helene Cooper, and Anton Troianovski, “Girding for New Battle, Russia Warns U.S. on Advanced Weapons for Ukraine,” New York Times, April 15, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/15/world/europe/ukraine-russia-us-weapons-warning.html

Karen DeYoung and Michael Birnbaum, “U.S., allies plan for long-term isolation of Russia,” Washington Post, April 16, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/04/16/us-nato-isolate-russia/

Juri Rescheto, “Who’s next? Lithuanians prepare for potential Russian aggression,” Deutschewelle, April 16, 2022, https://www.dw.com/en/whos-next-lithuanians-prepare-for-potential-russian-aggression/a-61496290

Agence France-Presse, “Russian ultimatum to Ukraine forces in Mariupol expires,” Radio Television Luxembourg, April 17, 2022, https://today.rtl.lu/news/world/a/1899789.html

Catherine Lucey, “Biden’s Claim of Russian Genocide in Ukraine Adds to Pressure Campaign,” Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/bidens-claim-of-russian-genocide-in-ukraine-adds-to-pressure-campaign-11650187802

Shayan Sardarizadeh and Leo Sands, “Ukraine war: Dramatic images appear to show sinking Russian warship Moskva,” British Broadcasting Corporation, April 18, 2022, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61141118

Jeanne Whalen, “Russian Orthodox leader backs war in Ukraine, divides faith,” Washington Post, April 18, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/18/russian-orthodox-church-ukraine-war/

Lorenzo Tondo, Luke Harding, and Isobel Koshiw, “Russia takes Donbas town but Ukrainian frontline ‘still holding,’” Guardian, April 19, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/19/ukraine-war-battle-for-donbas-has-begun-russia-launches-offensive

Bloomberg, “Kremlin Insiders Alarmed Over Growing Toll of Putin’s War in Ukraine,” April 20, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-04-20/putin-s-war-in-ukraine-has-russian-elites-fearing-global-isolation

Bloomberg, “Russia Test-Fires Nuclear-Capable ICBM in Warning to U.S. Allies,” April 20, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-04-20/russia-stages-test-of-nuclear-missile-in-warning-to-u-s-allies

David E. Sanger, “Russia’s Missile Test Fuels U.S. Fears of an Isolated Putin,” New York Times, April 20, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/20/us/politics/russia-putin-missile-test.html

Julia Ioffe, “Mothers for Putin,” Puck News, April 21, 2022, https://puck.news/mothers-for-putin/

Nataliya Vasilyeva, “Russia seeks to capture all of southern Ukraine in major expansion of war goals,” Telegraph, April 22, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/04/22/russia-seeks-capture-southern-ukraine-drastic-expansion-war/


  1. [1]Michael Gryboski, “Putin demands Israel give Russia control of historic Jerusalem church,” Christian Post, April 21, 2022, https://www.christianpost.com/news/putin-demands-israel-give-russia-control-of-jerusalem-church.html
  2. [2]Nebi Qena and Yuras Karmanau, “Russia shifts focus to try to grind Ukraine’s army in east,” Associated Press, March 28, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-putin-kyiv-business-europe-7386a5893a3b43bad7e438cfe45468c2
  3. [3]Nataliya Vasilyeva, “Russia seeks to capture all of southern Ukraine in major expansion of war goals,” Telegraph, April 22, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/04/22/russia-seeks-capture-southern-ukraine-drastic-expansion-war/
  4. [4]Jacob Judah, “Moldova braces for ‘spectrum of threats’ as Russia bids to seize south of Ukraine,” Telegraph, March 7, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/03/07/moldova-braced-spectrum-threats-russia-bids-seize-south-ukraine/

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